Israeli Values Religious Voices

Letter 57 - Rabbi Tzipi Huri

To the State of Israel and all its inhabitants,

The women and men of this nation, here and everywhere - Listen!

Nehemiah is asking God a simple request: “Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel” (Nehemiah 1, 6).

I also join Nehemiah prayer. As we approach the celebrations of Israel’s 75 years of Independence, I think about attentive ears that are needed to all of us and about the special connection there is in the Hebrew language between the word “ear” (Ozen) and the word “balance” (Izun).

I invite us to look up, and to observe what is happening between us as an opportunity to engage in a gentle dance -  contact improv, which means connecting and meeting through improvisation. All of us are invited to go up on this stage. The way for moving together is by creating a harmony of movement, by listening to our body. Hush… no need for talking, just listen to your body and respond with movement. This is the beginning of a joint dance. 

In order to maintain the physical dialogue and in order for it not to lead or be led, balance is necessary, so we don’t accidentally tip one of the scales. Our ears support the gentle balance, so it will not be disturbed by listening. 

At the beginning of Parashat “Haazinu” (Deuteronomy 32), we can learn that inside the physical, material ear, there is an internal ear and an external ear. Both are adjusted to the spiritual ear, in which the listening process should also be from the external to the internal, if there is a desire for a profound, heartfelt comprehension.

In order to keep the balance, we are in need of attentive listening to the internal voices. A reaction coming from listening will create a joint movement which is like a balanced dance.

“Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant” (Jeremiah 13, 15).

With prayers for gentle balance,

Rabbi Tzipi Huri

Rabbi Tzipi Huri, ordained by the Beit Midrash for Israeli Rabbis at the Shalom Hartman institute and Hamidrasha in Oranim. She is the founder and leader of two residential homes in two communities for women with special needs. She is also an initiator of “Poalei Tzedek”, a project for commemoration of deceased building builders. A teacher and a poet, she is married to Moshe and a mother of four.

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